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+ - 'We're Sorry' Says Carnegie-Mellon to 800 CS Grad Students Accepted in Error

Submitted by writes: The NYT reports that Carnegie Mellon University just emailed 800 applicants to their graduate computer science program that they were accepted, only to email them later in the day to say, in effect: Oops, not really. “It was heart-shattering. The hardest part for me was telling my family and friends that congratulated me on my acceptance that I was not,” said one 26-year-old applicant while another wrote on Facebook that in the hours between her Carnegie Mellon acceptance and rejection, she quit her job and her boyfriend proposed marriage, ending her post, “What do I do now?” Carnegie Mellon declined to comment beyond a prepared statement that acknowledged and apologized for the error. “When you’re a high-tech school like Carnegie Mellon or M.I.T., the egg on your face is that much worse,” said Anna Ivey. Carnegie Mellon’s statement struck some as falling far short of a real explanation. “This error was the result of serious mistakes in our process for generating acceptance letters," wrote Carnegie-Mellon. Or in the words of Gilda Radner playing Emily Litella on “Saturday Night Live” — "Never mind."

+ - Petition Calls for Media to Use the Term Climate Change 'Denier' Not 'Skeptic' 1

Submitted by writes: Justin Gillis reports at the NYT that the battle over climate change has taken a new turn with a public appeal over what people who reject the findings of climate science should be called. The petition, which has so far garnered 22,000 signatures including Bill Nye, of “Science Guy" fame, and Lawrence M. Krauss, the physicist and best-selling author, asks the news media to abandon the frequently used term “skeptic,” and call them “climate deniers” instead. The petition began with Mark B. Boslough, a physicist in New Mexico who grew increasingly annoyed by the term over several years. The phrase is wrong, says Boslough, because “these people do not embrace the scientific method.” Last year, Boslough wrote a public letter on the issue, "Deniers are not Skeptics." and dozens of scientists and science advocates associated with the committee quickly signed it. According to Boslough real skepticism is summed up by a quote popularized by Carl Sagan, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” "[Senator] Inhofe’s belief that global warming is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” is an extraordinary claim indeed," says Boslough. "He has never been able to provide evidence for this vast alleged conspiracy. That alone should disqualify him from using the title skeptic."

But some say 'denier' is a code-word for evil and have been up in arms by comparisons of climate change denial to holocaust denial. "Climate change denialism is rightly criticized for being denialist," writes Mark Hoofnagle, "but moral comparisons of these denialists to the anti-Semitic deniers of the Holocaust is a distraction, and will not help sway anyone to the side of science."

+ - Study predicts 9% drop in salaries of new CS grads this year->

Submitted by Jim_Austin
Jim_Austin writes: The first report on the class of 2015 from the respected National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which conducts surveys of employers’ hiring intentions throughout the year, projects a 9% drop in the salaries of new computer science bachelor's degree graduates, from $67,300 in 2014 to $61,287 this year.
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+ - Test shows big data text analysis inconsistent, inaccurate->

Submitted by DillyTonto
DillyTonto writes: The 'state of the art' in big-data unstructured data (text) analysis turns out to use a method of categorizing words and documents that, when tested, offered different results for the same data in 20% of the time and was flat wrong another 10%, according to an analysis by researchers at Northwestern. Researchers offered a more accurate method, but only as an example of how to use community detection algorithms to improve on the leading method (LDA). Meanwhile, a certain percentage of answers from all those big data installations will continue to be flat wrong until they're re-run, which will make them wrong in a different way.
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+ - 42% of Database Specialists Struggle to Manage NoSQL Solutions

Submitted by RaDag
RaDag writes: New Forrester research found many database pros struggle with the NoSQL solutions deployed in their environments and 52% admit they are unable to prevent developers from deploying NoSQL databases on their own. Bottom line is the majority — 78% -want one database that can handle all data types. With relational database technologies like Postgres having evolved to do just that, the report urges database pros to consider examining these solutions instead of deploying multiple, specialized databases.

+ - What Makes a Great Software Developer?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes: What does it take to become a great—or even just a good—software developer? According to developer Michael O. Church’s posting on Quora (later posted on LifeHacker), it's a long list: great developers are unafraid to learn on the job, manage their careers aggressively, know the politics of software development (which he refers to as 'CS666'), avoid long days when feasible, and can tell fads from technologies that actually endure... and those are just a few of his points. Over at Salsita Software’s corporate blog, meanwhile, CEO and founder Matthew Gertner boils it all down to a single point: experienced programmers and developers know when to slow down. What do you think separates the great developers from the not-so-fantastic ones?
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+ - Patent Trolls and Trial Lawyers->

Submitted by Jayson
Jayson writes: Steve Malanga takes down patent trolls and trial lawyers. Automated Transactions to the EFF to Judge Posner to sewing machines in a (very) long form article.

In fact, the opposition ran deeper than the trial bar, threatening future patent reform. Flaws in our patent system, which the distinguished appellate judge and law professor Richard Posner dubs “dysfunctional,” have transformed the technology market, making ceaseless litigation lucrative not only for Automated and patent trolls like it, but for others, too.

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Comment: Blame the greenies (Score 1, Insightful) 118

by Jayson (#37011448) Attached to: L.A. Artist Contemplates Future Traffic Flow, With Hot Wheels

It has the environmentalists' dream for years now for high-density living with mostly public transportation. What they call sprawl and fight tooth and nail against is what most of us call personal space, a yard for children, and a nice house. They would rather cram everybody in the smallest area possible and hope we all convert to riding buses because the traffic congestion is so bad. Urban planning classes pump out more and more people with this same view every year, so I can only imagine it getting worse.

Comment: Re:I am an HFT programmer (Score 1) 791

by Jayson (#36936992) Attached to: How and Why Wall Street Programmers Earn Top Salaries

FYI, I'm not the original poster, but another HFT developer. That is the only >$1mm loss I've ever had, but have had smaller, and it wasn't exactly for what some consider HFT, but for a trend prediction system. It was for an overseas illiquid market across a couple instruments and we had a bug elsewhere that didn't count our position properly.

Comment: Re:I am an HFT programmer (Score 2) 791

by Jayson (#36936962) Attached to: How and Why Wall Street Programmers Earn Top Salaries

To some extend yes, but the order management and routing systems have checks and there are circuit breakers to prevent total trainwrecks. It is a cost/benefit thing. How likely am I to lose $10k immediatey verus make $50k on the market close? One very important skill is in being able to estimate how likely you think you are right.

I wouldn't do this for huge programs or where the lost can be gigantic or I couldn't evaluate the risk.

Trying to cut corners, I did lose $1.6 million one day because I had a bug in my code. A lot of people have these stories when working on some high-risk projects (something HFT place usually try to stay away from). I learned from my mistake and more than made up for it a week later.

Comment: Re:J/MW? (Score 1) 410

by Jayson (#36907230) Attached to: Solar Energy Is the Fastest Growing Industry In the US

That is actually absolute advantage, and people confuse it with comparative advantage all the time.

In comparative advantage, you don't need to be the best at producing anything. You can actually be the worst at producing everything.

With comparative advantage, the weaker producer it taking advantage of the fact that the better producer is much better at producing A than B, even if you are worse at producing both, so you produce B.

That is, no matter how terribly inefficient you are at producing A and B, it still makes sense to trade with you.

Of course, this has nothing to do with how terribly inefficient solar power is.

Comment: "Just give them spoons" (Score 1) 410

by Jayson (#36907158) Attached to: Solar Energy Is the Fastest Growing Industry In the US

As related by Mark Calabria of CATO:

Prof. Friedman visited China in the early 1960s and was taken by a government official to see a public works project. Chinese workers were building a canal. Friedman was struck by seeing everyone digging the canal with shovels. Friedman asked the official, "why no heavy earth-moving equipment?" The official said, "oh, this is a jobs program." So Friedman then says to the official, "then why don't you just give them spoons instead of shovels to create even more jobs?"

Dead? No excuse for laying off work.